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Dana Velasco Murillo

Associate Professor

Murillo Book


Murillo Book

Research Interests

I am a social and ethnohistorian of early modern Latin America. My research focuses on recovering the histories of the non-elite groups of colonial Mexico’s northern silver mining district, especially native people and women.  

My current interests include my second book project, The Chichimeca Arc: War, Peace, and Resettlement in America’s First Borderlands, 1546-1616.  Chichimeca Arc recovers the history of nomadic indigenous peoples in the development and consolidation of New Spain’s sixteenth-century empire.

My most recent work includes an anthology, Overlooked Places and Peoples: Indigenous and African Confrontations and Collaborations in the Spanish Empire (Routledge 2024), which I co-edited with Robert Schwaller.

Prior to my appointment at UC San Diego, I was assistant professor of Latin American History at Adelphi University and UC Presidential Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Irvine.  

Recent External Fellowships 

National Endowment for the Humanities Fellow (2025-2026)

American Council Learned Societies Frederick Burkhardt Fellowship (2020-2021) 

National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Stipend (2020) 

Newberry Library Nancy F. Marino Fellow Medieval & Early Modern Iberian Studies (2020) 

Anneliese Maie Humboldt Yale History Network Travel Grant (2020) 

American Philosophical Society Franklin Research Grant (2019) 

University of California Institute for Mexico and the United States Small Grants (2017) 

-Urban Indians in a Colonial Silver City: Zacatecas, Mexico, 1546-1810 (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2016). * Paperback edition (2020). 
* Honorable Mention. (2017), RMCLAS 
* Honorable Mention. (2017), LASA 

-Special Issue, “A New Mining and Minting History for the Americas,” co-editor, Tatiana Seijas, Colonial Latin American Review 30.4 (2022). 

-City Indians in Spain’s American Empire:  Urban Indigenous Society in Colonial Mesoamerica and Andean South America, 1521-1830 (Sussex Academic Press, 2012). * Paperback Edition 2014. 

- “Introduction: Filling in Overlooked Places, Magnifying Overlooked Peoples” (Routledge Press, forthcoming) 

-Taking on Sedentary Life: Reducción and the Reorganization of Chichimeca Lifeways, New Spain, 1590–1596” (Routledge Press, forthcoming)  

-“’To Search and Claim’:  Indigenous Prospectors, Silver Mining, and Legal Practices in Spanish America, 1530-1600,” Colonial Latin American Review 30.4 (2022):  498-519. 

-“Introduction: A New Mining and Minting History for the Americas,” co-author, Tatiana Seijas, Colonial Latin American Review 30.4 (2021): 485-97. 

-“Borderlands in the Silver Mines of New Spain, 1540-1660” in The Oxford Handbook of Borderlands of the Iberian World (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2019), 371-95. 

-“Modern Local History in Spanish American Historiography,” History Compass 15.7 (2017). 

 -“For the Last Time, Once and for All”: Indians, Violence, and Local Authority in the Colonial City, Zacatecas, Mexico, 1587-1628,” Ethnohistory 63.1 (2016): 47-70. 

-“Laboring Above Ground:  Indigenous Women in New Spain’s Silver-Mining District, Zacatecas, Mexico, 1620-1770,” The Hispanic American Historical Review 93.1 (2013): 3-32.  
*Received 2013 Ligia Parra Jahn Award (RMCLAS 2013) 

-“Mine Workers and Weavers:  Afro-Indigenous Labor Arrangements and Interactions in Puebla and Zacatecas, 1600-1700,” co-authored with Pablo Sierra, in City Indians in Spain’s American Empire, 104-27. 

-“The Creation of Indigenous Leadership in a Spanish Town: Zacatecas, Mexico, 1609-1752,” Ethnohistory 56.4 (Fall 2009): 669-98. 


Public Facing Scholarship 

“La minería de plata y sus múltiple sociedades,” ICHAN TECOLOTL, 33 n. 354, (November 2021), 

-“Indigenous Uprisings in Colonial Mexico,” Routledge Resources Online: Renaissance World, 2022 

-“Silver:  Latin America.”  In Encyclopedia of the Modern World, edited by Peter N. Stearns (New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.) 

  • Early Latin America
  • Colonial Mexico
  • Indigenous Peoples
  • Women and Gender

Lower Division Courses

HILD 14:        Film and History in Latin America

MMW13:       New Ideas and Cultural Encounters

Upper Division Courses

HILA   100:    Latin America Colonial Transformations

HIUS 114A:    History of Early California

HILA   117:    Race, Class, and Gender in Colonial Latin America

HILA   134:    Indians of Colonial Latin America

Undergraduate Colloquia

HILA 161:      Women in Colonial Latin America

Graduate Colloquia

HILA 261:      Women in Colonial Latin America

HIGR 247:      Latin American History: Methods and Practice